Lifeboats called out as Coronia runs aground

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Both Scarborough lifeboats were called out on Sunday when the Coronia ran aground in the harbour mouth with 95 people aboard.

An hour before low tide, the rescue mission was complicated by the volume of traffic using the harbour and the presence of hundreds of holidaymakers on the beach.

The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched at 1.30pm, right next to the stranded pleasure boat, which had been trying to re-enter the harbour.

Coxswain Wave Crookes noticed that the water around the Coronia was very shallow and called for back-up from the inshore lifeboat, whose crew of volunteers took a tow rope to the Coronia.

It took two hours for the all-weather lifeboat to pull the Coronia off the sand.

For the first hour, the ebbing tide and a strong swell across the harbour mouth worked against the rescue efforts and made life uncomfortable for the lifeboat crews.

In the meantime, most of the passengers decided to get off the vessel and walk up the busy beach.

At the end of regatta week, with about 30 yachts competing, the lifeboat was in the area of the finishing line, and numerous other pleasure boats were sailing in and out of the harbour.

The Regal Lady was moored a few metres away, but in the narrow shipping channel.

“We eventually managed to tow her off, stern first, and escorted her into the harbour,” said Mr Crookes.

“With a very busy harbour mouth and a busy beach, our two lifeboat teams, along with the coastguard team, worked very well together,” he added.

The Coronia also ran aground on Saturday but managed to work itself free without assistance.

It was only the third time this year that the all-weather lifeboat has been launched.

Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives. The organisation depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.